Structuring principles and identification
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Basic issues

see also TC3/Work programme

Common methods for structuring and identification, earlier subjects that could be handled discipline by discipline, have become increasingly important because of the integration that the use of IS/IT tools in the design and engineering processes causes. The basic problem to solve is that when, in different disciplines and in different IS/IT tools, and during different phases of the life cycle of  a developed product or system, the same component is referred to, it has to be known by all involved to be just that, in order to allow that information on its properties can be shared or transferred.

A typical example can be a signal, which is partly transferred as a conventional electric signal, partly on a bus, and partly stored in a process computer. Such a signal may be handled in a electrical CAD system and in tools for programming of the process computer, and these need to exchange information on it.


Main publications

The structuring principles laid down in the International Standard 81346 series: Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products - Structuring principles and reference designation, developed jointly by IEC TC 3 and ISO TC 10, are central and considered capable of dealing with this problem in an appropriate way.  The standard consists presently of two parts: IEC 81346-1 Part 1: Basic rules, and IEC 81346-2 Part 2: Classification of objects and codes for classes.

NOTE - International Standard 81346 was isssued 2009-07 replacing IEC 61346, which consisted of four parts: Part 1: Basic rules , Part 2: Classification of objects and codes for classes, Part 3: Application guidelines and Part 4: Discussion of concepts (aTechnical Report) and IEC/PAS  62400 Letter codes - Main classes and subclasses of objects according to their purpose and task. These publications have all been withdrawn.

The structuring principles of International Standard 81346-1 is a "backbone" for the structuring of products and systems and therefore also inherently of related documents and documentation. It is therefore referenced from a number of other publications like IEC 61082-1, IEC 61355, IEC 62023.

IEC 61666 Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products - Identification of terminals within a system is directly based on IEC 81346.

The IEC 81346 series together with IEC 61175 Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products - Designation of signals provides the required links between software objects, e.g. programmable logic controllers languages as in IEC 61311-3 and the related hardware objects.

IEC 62491 Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products - Labelling of cables and cores provides rules and guidelines for the labelling of cables and cores/conductors used in industrial installations, equipment and products, in order to maintain a clear relation between the technical documentation and the actual equipment and for other purposes.

The full capability of IEC 81346 is only taken into service by a limited segment of the market, and incompatible identification systems for some application areas exist. Therefore marketing and more concrete guidelines for specific areas, such as process control, may be necessary to develop.

Closely related topics: Document and documentation management, Information modelling, Semantic definitions.


Ongoing maintenance and new projects (2010-01)

The revision of IEC 61346 was finished 2009-07. The work was carried out by the Maintenance Team TC3/MT18, with participation from ISO TC10. The revised publication is published under the number IEC 81346, indicating that it is a joint IEC/ISO series of publications, intended to include Parts from both organizations.

With this result availble the revision of IEC 61666 was initiated and is presently going on. Document 3/943A/CDV IEC 61666 Ed.2: Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products - Identification of terminals within a system, was closing 2009-09-18. The document 3/987/RVC has been circulated and the FDIS registered.

A New Work Item Proposal 3/810/NP Rules for identifcation systems, was circulated for approval within IEC TC3 and ISO TC10. The project was approved as IEC 62507 Ed. 1 in TC3 and TC3/PT 39 was set up. Document 3/836/RVN gives details on the result and the comments provided. As a result of the work in PT 39 document 3/908/CD IEC 62507 Ed.1: Requirements for identification systems enabling unambiguous information interchange - Part 1: Principles and methods, was circulated for commenting, closing 2008-09-26. The comments were discussed at a meeting with the PT and document 3/946/CDV (with the same title) prepared. It was closing 2009-12-09 and the comments are presently being considered by the PT39..

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